Portland-born Brad Mackeson is something of an old soul in a young body. His latest album – 1945 – is his first full-length record. It’s named after the year his grandparents met, near the end of WWII.
Mackeson is infatuated with the greats – Dylan, Cash, Lennon – and wants to create music that has that intangible “timeless” quality. He doesn’t necessarily want to copy any of these older artists’ styles, but studies their music to see why he thinks their songs hold up after so many years. He says, “I really appreciate full albums and I can’t just think about writing some single. A lot of new music and even movies are obsessed with special effects, but older albums and films didn’t have as many special effects and you had to rely on the story to entertain people.” He also collects all their albums on vinyl.
Brad Mackeson moved to Nashville to hone his songwriting and guitar-playing. He wrote more than 45 songs in just over a year, and made a lot of friends who would have been happy to play on his record. However, Mackeson preferred to record the album himself.
While the initial inspiration and title for the new album came from thinking about his grandparents, Mackeson also puts a lot of his own experiences and thoughts into the songs. The songs are arranged to invoke the ideas of falling in love, facing uncertainty, and then coming out stronger in the end.
You can hear Brad Mackeson sing some of his self-penned tunes this Thursday at the Woodland Nights Revival this Thursday. The songwriters’ showcase kicks off at 9p.m. at Mad Donna’s.
What: Brad Mackeson
When: Thursday, March 21 at 9p.m.
Where: Mad Donna’s